That was all it took for me to fall in love with him. 5 simple yet complex moments that occurred within a few months that forever swayed the path in which my life would take. He was the one that I knew I would spend my entire life loving. He was the one I was meant to be with. These moments began with one.
One-The Meeting-It is better to break one's heart than to do nothing with it. (Margaret Kennedy)
I walked through the arena for the first time since I was little. It hadn’t changed at all, except for the fact that instead of coming here to watch a game with my cousin I was now going to watch a game starring my cousin. My cousin was goalie Thomas McCollum of the Guelph Storm. I hadn’t seen him in forever so when he invited me to come stay with him over my spring break I jumped at the chance. We acted more like siblings than cousins. He was only 1 year older than my 17 year old self. My plane had been delayed and I had already missed two periods of the game. I arrived at my seat which was just behind the home goalie. It was where Thomas and I used to sit when we were little and I guess he decided to keep tradition.
After the game, a shutout for my cousin, I waited 10 minutes before heading to the locker room. I wasn’t surprised to see a group of typical puck bunnies waiting outside the locker room door. I slid around the group of girls that I can guarantee were only here for the guys and not the game. They gave me evil looks as I pushed them aside and knocked on the door. I used the secret knock that only Thomas and I knew. He opened the door and pulled me inside wrapping his arms around me in a bear hug. Pulling away he tickled my sides causing me to burst out laughing. When I regained my breath I looked up and scanned my eyes around the room. I knew hockey players were strong but I never knew their bodies looked like this. My cousin followed my eye’s path and for that he gently hit me in the head as to say ‘don’t even think about it’. Like I said earlier we acted like siblings. He was the older overprotective brother that I never had.
He was talking to me about the game when my eyes met HIS. He had the most gorgeous dark brown eyes and my heart skipped a beat. I turned my attention back to my cousin but I couldn’t get that guy out of my head. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him grab his bag and get up to leave. I thought he would walk right by us and was surprised when he stopped next to Thomas. Reaching his hand out to grab mine he held it gently then briefly kissed my hand.
“Drew Doughty,” He said introducing himself. “I’m roomies with this dude here.” He motioned to my cousin. I looked at Thomas as he shrugged. Drew opened the locker room door and led the way to his car. When we arrived at the apartment I was glad to see that it had 3 bedrooms. We sat to watch a movie before going to bed, Drew and I on the couch and Thomas on the recliner. I slowly started to drift asleep when Drew pulled me to his side. This is where I made the little mistake that made me fall for him. Instead of relaxing and laying my head on his chest, I pulled away and got up to go grab a drink before bed. When I passed back through the living room I was taken aback at the sad look on Drew’s face. He looked as if I had just broken his heart.
Two-An Icy Battle-Love is a game that two can play and both win. (Eva Gabor)
When playoffs started I flew back to Guelph in order to support my cousin. I was a senior this year therefore I wasn’t missing anything important. I had talked to my cousin last week and he mentioned that Drew kept asking about me. My flight landed and I texted Thomas to see if he was home. When there was no reply I decided to check the rink to see if the boys were practicing. When I got to the arena there was but one body on the ice. I would recognize him anywhere. It was Drew. He was working on his slap-shot from the left point. I set my stuff down on the closest seat and walked down to the door of the ice. Standing there watching him I got the urge to join him. I walked back up and opened the bag that contained my skates. Sliding them on, I walked back to the door and grabbed a spare stick. I stepped onto the ice and as I approached him our eyes met.
“You up for some one-on-one?” I asked smiling. He nodded and skated towards me. He bent down and set the puck at center ice for the face-off. He counted to three and pushed the puck to me. I took it gladly and skated to the net behind him. He easily took the puck when he lifted my stick and he started to my net. What he didn’t know was that when I played with Thomas and his friends I was always put on defense. Quickly catching up to him I resumed skating backwards and was able to take the puck off his stick when he was trying to deke me out. Putting on the speed I quickly skated around him and shot the puck into the net. I slowed down as I reached the icing line but was run into by a panting Drew. He had me pinned against the boards his hands on either side of me.
“Holy crap…where did you learn that?” He mumbled breathing heavily his voice gruff. I leaned up and whispered, “It’s the advantage of playing D ever since I was 4” into his ear. He moaned lightly and his hips moved forward. I could feel his breath on my neck and the butterflies erupted in my stomach. He ran his lips from my neck to my ear nibbling gently. Then he kissed my forehead, my nose, my cheeks, and my chin before pressing his lips to mine. He slid his tongue into my waiting mouth and our groans intermixed. When he pulled away the look in his eyes was full of love and no longer the heartbreak from the month before.
This was the second moment in which I fell in love with him.
Three-The One Month Anniversary-Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. (Jean Anouilh)
Though our first kiss was in April we didn’t begin dating until the week of the NHL draft. He asked me to be his girlfriend the night both he and Thomas were drafted to LA and Detroit respectively. I of course said yes. That summer was so much fun. I still hadn’t decided where I was going to school but I didn’t let that bother me. I spent every waking moment with Drew knowing that soon he would be in LA and I wouldn’t get to see him that often.
July 21st I woke up to find a single red rose on my nightstand. It contained the letter O. I placed it into a vase in the kitchen and went to get my daily shower. When I got out I found the letter L written in the fog of the mirror. Throughout the day I kept finding letters everywhere I went, so I wrote them down one-by-one. Problem was they didn’t spell anything. After the O and the L I found an I attached to the cookie mix I had planned on baking. Then I found another O near my car keys. A V was located on the windshield of my car and an E was handed to me by some woman at the grocery store. When I arrived back at my apartment I found a U attached to the door. The final letter was sitting near a new dress and shoes. It was a Y.
The letters in order were: O, L, I, O, V, E, U, and Y. Finally realizing who was behind this crazy lettering I called Drew. He didn’t answer but his voicemail simply said “unscramble them Em.” I sat down and tried to figure out the message he was trying to send. After about 20 minutes, I finally got it. I LOVE YOU. Looking at the clock I realized I need to go get ready for my date tonight with Drew. The dress he had gotten me was black on top and slowly turned into white down at the waist. It had a silver belt and glitter all over the top. The neckline was a low v-neck stemming from a halter. It went down to my knees and was paired with a pair of 3 inch black heels. I have to admit I looked HOT. I guess that’s what Drew was going for.
He picked me up and his jaw dropped. Ok so apparently I surpassed the look he was going for with the dress. He took me out to dinner at an Italian place that had amazing food by the way. Then we went back to his place to watch a movie. When we got there he told me to go pick out a movie while he got some popcorn and sparkling wine. I made my way over to the table and found all my favorite chick-flicks laying there as well as a few candles and a lighter. I popped The Notebook into the DVD player and lit the candles on the table. Just as I was getting ready to curl up on the couch Drew walked into the room carrying two glasses, a bottle and a massive bowl of popcorn. He set everything down on the table and pulled me close to him lying down on the couch.
Halfway through the movie, 2 glasses of sparkling wine, and a bowl of popcorn later we kissed. It wasn’t like any of our other kisses. The kiss was filled with need and want and most of all love. We both knew we were in love with each other. When he gently rolled on top of me I knew it was time. I was ready to give him all of me. Looking into his eyes I knew he understood. He picked me up bridal style and carried me to his bedroom flicking off the TV as he went. Setting me down, he shut the door behind us and slowly began trailing a line of kisses from my ear to my nose to my mouth and my neck. I ran my hands up under his jacket sliding it off of him. The next piece of clothing to go was his dress shirt. He ran his hands down my shoulders and back as my hands followed every line in his chest. He unbuttoned the neck of the halter and slowly peeled the dress up and over my head. As he unsnapped my bra I gently unbuttoned his pants and pushed them down his legs. Shedding our final undergarments he picked me up and laid me down on his bed. As we connected skin-to-skin I was sure this was where I was meant to be.
Four-Two Confessions-I gave you 12 roses 11 fake 1 real and said that I will love you until the last one dies.(Anon)
The middle of August came and Drew had to leave for rookie and training camp. I was in the process of packing and getting ready to move my stuff either to Guelph or LA. I was going to follow Drew no matter where he ended up this season. Early one morning I was in the attic of my parent’s house looking through boxes upon boxes of stuff. Opening one of the boxes farther back in the attic I felt a wave of nausea come over me. The scent of decaying animal flooded my nose and I ran down the steps straight to the bathroom. After puking my guts up, I felt exhausted, both mentally and physically. Deciding it was time for a break I headed to the kitchen to find something to settle my stomach. Mom was making breakfast and I once again made a dash for the bathroom. At that moment I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what.
Lying on my bed that afternoon I tried to take a nap. When I awoke I opened my eyes facing my calendar. It was the 23rd of August and I was late. Not just a few days late but like a week and a half late. I just knew. I scheduled a doctor’s appointment for the week before I was supposed to go see Drew. Not that they would do anything but confirm what my head and body already knew to be true.
2 weeks later.
Positive. I wasn’t sure what to think about that one word. Well more like I wasn’t sure what Drew would think about that one word. Or the concept that went along with it. Were we ready to be parents? Was I ready to be a mother? I wasn’t sure about either of these questions but I knew that they would be answered in time. The question I was worried about however was, how would Drew react? As I sat in the airport waiting for my flight to board I had a lot of time to ponder this.
Drew met me at the airport with open arms. As he picked me up and spun me around I forgot about everything that had been weighing me down. Those next few days were pure bliss. I went to practices with Drew and attended all his pre-season games. On Sunday he was headed out of town for another preseason game, so he was making us a nice romantic dinner in his hotel room.
I had gotten all dressed up and had spent hours mentally preparing myself for his reaction to my news. After we ate we curled up on his couch with a bottle of sparkling wine and I curled into his lap. I opened my mouth to tell him and as I began to speak so did he. We both became silent so that the other could speak…once again that got us nowhere. I counted to three on my hands and we both said what needed said at the same time.
We were both stunned silent…but only for a minute. Then he began laughing and I quickly joined in. He slid a beautiful engagement ring onto my finger and placed his hand gently where our baby was currently growing. Everything was going to be all right. Our love would keep us together.
Five-A Miracle-Having a baby is like falling in love again, both with your husband and your child.(Tina Brown)
It was the final home game of the LA Kings season…they had failed to make the playoffs once again. I sat in my normal seat right behind the player’s bench and watched as Drew and the boys beat San Jose. They saluted the fans and I felt a sharp kick in my stomach. Our baby sure was active…must be a trait of Drew’s. As Drew and I lay in bed I continued to feel the sharp kicks. Well I thought they were sharp kicks. They became closer and closer together and when I felt I stream of water down my legs I knew that the baby wasn’t kicking I had gone into labor. I grabbed my phone from the bedside table and sent I text to Thomas to get his butt down to LA. I gently nudged Drew to wake up. He groaned and rolled over finally realizing what was going on when he felt the wetness of the bed. He jumped out of bed. Grabbed my bag and ran down to the car. He was only forgetting one thing. Me. I slowly stood up and threw on a pair of sweats and a sweatshirt. I waddled to the bathroom to brush my teeth and was downstairs before Drew ran back through the door. He was heaving slightly and I just laughed at his demeanor. He helped me into the car and we were on our way to the hospital.
I was settled into a room and a nurse checked to see how far I was dilated. She asked me when the contractions started and Drew looked shocked when I mentioned that they had started during the game. The nurse laughed and told him that it was completely normal for a woman to not realize she was in labor. She said to expect the baby somewhere between 3-6 hours. I was over halfway dilated and still moving quickly. Thomas texted my phone and I made Drew leave the hospital to go talk to him. While he was gone I was given pain meds and was told I only have a centimeter and a half to go and that the baby would be there within the hour.
Drew returned just as I was being prepped for delivery. He scrubbed up and joined me in the delivery room. The delivery was brief and before I knew it my baby girl was being placed in on my chest. Drew cut the cord and smiled at the sight of his two favorite girls. We had decided on the name Alyssa Kassidy about a week ago. I handed her over to Drew and in that moment I had everything I could have ever wanted.
5 moments to fall irrevocably in love with this man.